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More On Soluto: Have They Cured My Frustration?

logo_blueSoluto did win the Techcrunch Distrupt 2010 conference, and for that, I thought it really deserved a real look-see. Since I wasn’t able to actually get Soluto working the first time around   –  I decided to wait and try again. Well, today is that day, I finally have access to Solulto’s cloud network and can put it through it’s paces. Here’s what I found.

The interface is indeed quite slick. I could see that the authors of this software put allot of time and energy into making this application look great. There were a number of transitions that really looked nice, and whenever information about components was displayed – that information was interesting and usable. I especially liked the idea of  “Recommendation” and the answer was fairly well-informed.

Editing application information itself was also quite flashy. The process was straight forward and was explained as you changed the various text items. The “Wiki Editing Mode” allows you to describe and recommend actions that can be taken for the application (see below). Here’s the thing though, the text in the edit boxes was incredibly difficult to see – and there was not spell checker to speak of. Perhaps these are two things that could be improved as users start writing things for Soluto. I still thought it was too flashy though, would a power user allow this kind of thing to run?

So, what does Soluto do when an application is disabled? Well, as an example, I took the “SunJavaUpdateSched” – “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Java\Java Update\jusched.exe” and took it through the various modes of Soluto .

The key above is located in:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

When I pause the above item, the registry entry is removed from the Run key above and placed in the cloud  (?) somewhere. I found no evidence of a temporary location for storing this data. It also appears at though Soluto assigns a “GenomeID” to each computer. Mine was “1C3A4A6F-9D65-48C5-957F-5F26287D4676”.

This raises a number of concerns, especially if the computer is actually disconnected from this Internet after making changes. Could they restore their computer to the pre-Soluto state? To test this, I disconnected the computer from the network and rebooted it. I then attempted to restore all of my paused applications. It did indeed seem possible to restore all applications without the requirement of an Internet connection – a great improvement over the last version I saw of Soluto.

I also found it interesting that Soluto itself was considered a required item, not able to actually be removed. So, Soluto will, at least, protect itself from the user.

So, I thought, what if I install one of the many derivatives of viruses out there and see how Soluto handles that? This could be interesting. While I was running the Soluto beta, I installed the wondrous (and totally fake) “Security Tool”. Soluto didn’t stop it (I didn’t expect it too) and furthermore, didn’t stop the Malware from wreaking havoc on the system, in this case Soluto was stopped from loading completely.

Also, when using the menu-item that says “My PC just frustrated me” – the same thing happened. Soluto was prevented from loading or doing any work to improve the system. Should I expect that Soluto can protect itself from such attacks to it’s own operation? Yes.

Overall, I’m liking this application more and more. I would love some sort of corporate-ready functions  (AD installable, group policy settings for mass pausing, control over user interaction). Given that, this application may find itself in on a great deal more computers.

Give it a shot yourself, the download for Solulto can be found here. Let me know how it goes.